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Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Who would have thought that Stuart Scott would have worked his way into our garage one January Saturday afternoon? Johanna was celebrating a small victory in our marathon cleaning goal, and while I can’t remember now what exactly gave her a reason to shout, there it was, loud and clear...’Boo-Ya!’

Do you know Stuart Scott? I had watched a lot of him on SportsCenter. In fact, he was one commentator that I was willing to actually sit down and listen to because he had a way of reporting sport news that tended to be opinionated but was always insightful and truthful. Not a hint of status quo with him. So it was very sad to learn that he had passed away after a long courageous battle with cancer.

ESPN spent serious time that morning reflecting on the life that Stuart chose to live. There was mention of his accomplishments, which are vast, but the one significant attribute of Stuart’s character was his focus on living intentionally. He clearly had a deep sense of purpose, and so when he left the world behind, he left a legacy of courage, helpfulness, individuality, determination, charisma, and so many other positive characteristics. He may have not always been liked, but he will always be admired for many reasons.

As we move through January, slowly but surely the New Year’s typical improvement discussions will go away. Resolutions will survive if we do this, goals can be accomplished if we do that. In business, in our personal lives, family, health, spiritual things, you name it, ‘it’ can be better, smarter, clearer, etc. By Super Bowl Sunday we will all be back to our favorite version of wings, beer and ice cream. Well, some might be strong enough to make it to Valentines’ Day, but I’ve never been in that group.

Photo Credit: Jill Pitzer

This January, however, there was a something new in the ‘how to improve’ discussions. Or maybe I haven’t noticed because I have been too preoccupied with once again making my list of goals and resolutions. But several times I ran into articles about how important it is to focus on making the life not only that we want to live, but the kind of life that actually leaves behind value and meaning for the people who know us, and maybe even some who don’t.

The question, instead of “How can I get better at this?” becomes ‘How can I do this so that the things that matter the most to the people who matter to me will be encouraged and supported and maybe even changed for the better because I did it this way?”

It is obvious when a person lives this way. People are attracted to them, want to learn from them, and are inspired to find their own sense of purpose. Another way to see how people live is what others say about them when they die, as in Stuart Scott’s situation.

I work in the produce industry, and when someone passes away, all industry publications note their death. While there are different reasons why some people get more comments than others about their involvement in the industry, it is very apparent when one leaves behind a positive legacy. It is clear by what others say at the end of their lives that they lived intentionally kind, helpful, and with integrity, dedication and passion.

Maybe this is more about me finally growing up (or getting older) and realizing that my choices are really not about me. Maybe I am one of the few that get sidetracked with raising the family, running the business and maybe a few IPA’s with friends every so often. But the one ‘maybe’ I am determined not to accept is the ‘Maybe I can start living more intentionally.’

I have written about this before, but I work at the intersection of the produce and trucking industries. Everyday I have the opportunity to intentionally make someone’s life better. Both industries are extremely challenging, and with the different issues looming in the future, people will need all the help they can get.

The more I have thought about this, the more appreciative I have grown about this deeper way to look at why I am in business and how I can absolutely and positively intentionally affect someone’s live. I like the business model.

“Boo-ya!” Thank you Stuart.

PS: About the call to action? You choose, intentionally...

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